Pettalia’s topic of discussion: road conditions

State Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle, will hold town hall meetings throughout Northeast Michigan to hear public input on what should be done about Michigan’s roads.

In light of the debate stirred by Gov. Rick Snyder’s calls for increased transportation infrastructure funding, Pettalia will host the meetings as a way to educate people about the state of Michigan’s roads, he said. He’ll also have road construction and trucking industry experts on hand, as well as road managers from each county in which he’s stopping to answer questions from the public.

The meetings will also be a way for citizens to give their input on various road funding proposals, a topic that’s garnered a lot of attention, Pettalia said. He’s urging everyone to attend in order to have their say on the issue.

“There’s been a lot of hype and conversation since the governor’s State of the State (address comments) on potential road funding changes and how we pay for our infrastructure,” he said. “Of course, we are hearing a lot as state legislators in concerns from our citizens as we travel throughout the district.”

Pettalia said he has received “thousands” of phone calls and emails since Snyder made his remarks calling for more than $1 billion in new funding for roads. While many people agree that something needs to be done about the state’s transportation infrastructure, there’s a wide variety of opinions on just what should be done.

“Any time we have a controversial issue, it’s better to have input from citizens, and I treasure that,” he said.

The town hall meetings start today at the East Tawas Community Center, 760 Newman St., from 6-8 p.m., according to a release. They continue Saturday, starting in Alpena at the Alpena County Library from 10-11:30 a.m., then to the Rogers City Senior & Community Center, 131 E. Superior St., from 1-2:30 p.m. Finally, he’ll host a meeting at the Grant Township Hall in Cheboygan County, at 8908 Twin Lakes Rd., from 6-7:30 p.m.

While in Alpena, County Road Commission Managing Director Larry Orcutt will be joined by Alcona County Road Commission Manager Jesse Campbell, Pettalia said. Representatives from government agencies, like the County Roads Association of Michigan and the Michigan Council of Governments, will be at the meetings as well.

“I find it to be a lot more educational when you can bring all the groups together that have an input on an issue,” he said.

The meetings will include a presentation from the Michigan Department of Public Transportation, and department representatives will talk about the formula they use to determine what roads get attention, Pettalia said.

“I just think it’s important for citizens to hear first-hand from the industry and from MDOT and county roads,” he said.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at